Sugarcane farmers have threatened to launch a stir if the Naraingarh sugar mill fails to clear their dues amounting to more than Rs 27.50 crore by December 31. The dues have been pending since last season.
As per rules, payments are to be cleared within 14 days of the purchase of sugarcane. The next season of sugarcane crushing will start on November 23.
Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti president Vinod Rana said, “Around Rs 63 crore of the previous season is pending. This includes cash payment of Rs 27.5 crore and Rs 35 crore, for which post-dated cheques have been issued.”
He further said this was not the first time that payment had been delayed. “A couple of years ago, the mill authorities had released the dues following repeated agitations. Subsequently, the government had taken control of the ailing private sugar mill, but it, too, has failed to released money on time,” said Rana.
“Delayed payment forced farmers to sell off their produce to sugarcane crushers at cheaper rates. Farmers are likely to divert their produce to the Yamunanagar mill and in Punjab, besides selling to sugarcane crushers to get timely payment,” he added.
Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Niraj, who is also the mill’s CEO, said: “Farmers have been assured that the cash dues will be cleared by December 31 and the payments of the new season will start from January 1.”
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) district chief Malkit Singh said, “Farmers are being harassed to get their due. This is unacceptable. A panchayat will be convened on January 3 to assess the situation. If the mill fails to fulfil its promise by then, the union will give the call for agitation.”